Celebrating the Turn of the Century

Taiwan is celebrating the turn of the century, the first century. While Taipei celebrates with fireworks on an epic scale, here on an East coast beach in Hualien a family sets of their own to mark the centenary.

But, the year is 2011 isn’t it, so what is the meaning of the turning of the first century? Despite now using the Gregorian calendar for official purposes, Taiwan, or that is to say The Republic of China, also follows a different calendar – the Minguo Calendar. The years in Chinese history had historically been referred to as the name of the Emperor and their number of years in power. For example, Emperor Kangxi ruled from 1662-1722, so 1662 = Kangxi 1 and 1722 = Kangxi 61.

On the first of January 1912, Dr Sun Yat Sen declared that this was Year 1 of the Republic of China.

So today marks one hundred years from that official start date. This calendar is referred to as Minguo (“民國” meaning “republic”) since, of course, there was no longer an Emperor’s name to use.

Here’s wishing everyone in Taiwan the best of luck in this significant year.

Fireworks on the beach to celebrate The Republic of China’s 100th year

Camera: Panasonic Lumix LX3
Lens: 24-60mm f/2.0-f/2.8

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